If you’re sitting around on MLK Day with 110 minutes to spare…
January 21, 2019 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Historian Kevin M. Kruse recommends: If you’re looking for something to watch on MLK today, check out the fantastic “King in the Wilderness” documentary. Amazing footage, much of it not seen before, about the last, often overlooked chapters of King’s story.

KITW is a 2018 HBO documentary directed by Peter Kunhardt covering the last 18 months of Dr. King’s life. (Some reviews from the LA Times, THR, RogerEbert.com.) It has been uploading to YouTube by the Kunhardt Film Foundation, along with the clips and full interviews edited into the film.
posted by Going To Maine (4 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Thread by @IWriteAllDay_: "Here's a reminder that MLK Jr was not your precious Civil Rights Jesus™. That his politics were & still are radical & that their scope surpassed *integration* & took shots at the states' horrid treatment of veterans, poor folx here (abroad) & and the idea of 'US Hegemony' ... "
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m pretty sure Jesus would have taken shots at all those things too.
posted by vorpal bunny at 6:04 AM on January 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

MLK had radical economic views: "everything from jobs and a guaranteed income to medical care and decent homes and quality education for all—a Rip Van Winkle from the thirties" (Martin Luther King's intellectual, ethical, and political commitments ;)

MLK was a fan of Henry George! "The problem indicates that our emphasis must be two-fold. We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available. In 1879 Henry George anticipated this state of affairs when he wrote, in Progress and Poverty:"
The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased. [from Book IX: Effects of the Remedy; Chapter 4: Of the changes that would be wrought in social organization and social life]
posted by kliuless at 9:06 PM on January 22, 2019

Wow, this documentary was just so fantastic - informative and very eye-opening. I knew nothing about King's time in Chicago, and how deeply depressing it was for him to confront the massively hateful white reaction there. Nor about the way so many of his friends in the civil rights movement *immediately* dumped him after a single sermon, widely denounced the next day in the white mainstream press, in which he vehemently joined his wife in opposing the Vietnam War. He was so sad so often those last few years; it's heartbreaking to watch. But then his strength comes back and he shines, over and over again. I'm tearing up just typing this.

If anyone hasn't yet, watch this doc. It's extremely well-made and will forever change the way you think about this amazing man.
posted by mediareport at 5:17 AM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

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